MSU - Northern Chancellor Greg Kegel | MSU - Northern website
Montana State University - Northern has reported an uptick in student enrollment for the first time since 2013.
Enrollment increased by 42 students for the spring semester and by six students last fall, Chancellor Greg Kegel told the Havre Daily News.
“We are actually up in enrollment, which is always a good thing," said Kegel, who has been chancellor at the Havre school since 2014. "We are winning on this campus in every other area that I can win in. Enrollment isn't growing as fast as I'd like it to, but in order for it to grow like I want to make it grow, I have to go further away."
Fall 2019 enrollment was 1,086 students, and it rose to 1,128 students in the spring.
The last time the university had enrollment growth was fall 2013, when it had 1,334 students, compared to 1,282 the year before.
A multi-use sports complex with a football stadium is one of the projects Kegel cited as a way to continue enrollment growth.
The school has 85% of funding in place for the $3 million stadium, which will occupy a practice field west of the Hagener Science Center.
"That's one of the dreams we have for this campus is to have game day on our campus and all the activities and the events go around that Saturday morning right before kickoff," Kegel said. "The excitement, the student body, everybody is excited; they want to be part of it."
An equine center for students who participate in rodeo is also planned, Kegel said.
"That's a fun project to be working on," Kegel said. "We're grinding away on things that make Northern noticeable."
The project goes beyond sports; it will enhance the university’s ability to recruit and retain students, Kegel said, adding that the school is ranked first in the state for upward mobility, meaning students in the bottom 20% of income distribution move into the top 20% after they graduate.